Alaska Wilderness Myths

The Tundra Drums details some myths and hoaxes about Alaska wildlife. For instance:

Eagles do not actually snatch toddlers (they're too heavy). Nor are there any credible reports of eagles snatching up pet dogs.

Eagles' talons do not involuntarily lock. They can let go if they want. But often they choose not to let go, even if a big fish is dragging them through the water.

The 'majestic cry' of the eagle actually sounds more like a squeaky chirp. Which is why movies often dub in the call of the red-tailed hawk.

Bears can run downhill. They can also climb trees very well.

Lemmings do not commit suicide by hurling themselves, en masse, off cliffs.

Finally, it's not true that there are no groundhogs in Alaska, even though the Alaska legislature decided to name Feb. 2 "Marmot Day" instead of "Groundhog Day," since it reasoned that there were no groundhogs in the state. Alaska does have groundhogs, though they're known there as woodchucks.


Posted on Fri Apr 25, 2014


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